Shaun Marcum goes three innings in first minor league rehab start

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Shaun Marcum has missed nearly two months due with an elbow injury, but he’s finally getting closer to rejoining the Brewers’ starting rotation.

Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Marcum allowed one run over three innings tonight in his first rehab start with Class A Wisconsin. The only hit he allowed was a solo homer. He struck out three, walked none and threw 28 out of 36 pitches for strikes.

According to Brewers media relations director Mike Vassallo, Marcum will make his next rehab start Wednesday. Barring any setbacks, it’s possible he could be activated after that.

Marcum, 31, was 5-3 with a 3.39 ERA and 77/26 K/BB ratio in 82 1/3 innings through 13 starts prior to being placed on the disabled list. He is poised to hit free agency this offseason.

Troy Tulowitzki held a workout for eleven clubs

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Yesterday free agent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki held a workout in California and representatives from at least eleven teams were on hand, reports Tim Brown of Yahoo. Among the clubs present: the Giants — who were said to have a “heavy presence,” including team president Farhan Zaidi and manager Bruce Bochy — the Angels, Red Sox, Cubs, Padres, White Sox, Orioles, Yankees, Phillies, Tigers and Pirates.

Your first reaction to that may be “Um, really? For Tulowitzki?” But a moment’s reflection makes it seem more sensible. We’re so tied up in thinking of a player through the filter of their contract and, when we’ve done that with Tulowitzki over the past several years, it has made him seem like an albatross given the $20 million+ a year he was earning to either not play or play rather poorly due to injuries.

It was just the contract that was the albatross, though, right? An almost free Tulowitzki — which he will be given that the Blue Jays are paying him $38 million over the next two seasons — is a different matter. If you sign him it’ll be for almost no real money and he stands a chance to be an average or maybe better-than-average shortstop, which is pretty darn valuable. You might even get one quirky late career return-to-near-glory season from him, in which case you’ve hit the lottery. If, however, as seems more likely, he just can’t get it done at all, you’re not out anything and you can cut him with little or no pain.

Eleven teams think he’s at least a look-see. I bet one of them will offer him a major league deal. Maybe more than one. He’ll probably have his pick of non-roster invites to spring training. I can’t see the downside to at least doing that much.